The Blue Jays’ next stop is in New York to play the Yankees, and it’s coming at a time when the Bronx Bombers are still missing several key players.
Despite taking an 18-1 drubbing at the hands of the Mets on Friday night, the Blue Jays managed to win their three-game set with New York over the weekend.
The victory maintained their 0.5 back lead over the Yankees for 2nd place in the AL East, which is significant as they head to the Big Apple for three games against their division rival. The two teams will still have another four games to play back in Buffalo from Sept 21-24, but this week’s series will be extremely important as we head into the final weeks of this shortened regular season.
While the Blue Jays are still without a couple of their more dangerous hitters in Teoscar Hernandez and Rowdy Tellez, their roster has seen some important contributors getting back to business like Bo Bichette and Ken Giles. It’s unfortunate that the Blue Jays won’t be at full strength, but they may actually have an advantage in that department over the Yankees, who are also still missing a few of their stars.
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There’s a chance that former Blue Jay Gio Urshela could be activated ahead of the series in New York, but we won’t be seeing others like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, or James Paxton. The latter may not make it back in time to help the Yankees at all this season, which is too bad for Paxton as he heads into free agency this winter. As for Stanton, he was scheduled to take some simulated at-bats on Sunday, so he’ll be a while yet, and the latest update on Judge says that he might begin at the alternative training site on Monday.
The Blue Jays won’t have a very easy time against the Yankee starters, as they’re scheduled to line up Deivi Garcia, Gerrit Cole, and Masahiro Tanaka this week, but it’s a different story with their lineup. There are still plenty of dangerous hitters like DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and Luke Voit, but they’re not the same without their best two sluggers in Judge and Stanton.
With 14 games remaining, the Blue Jays could put the Yankees in a serious hole if they can leave New York with a sweep, or even win two out of three. The Yankees have actually played one more game than the Jays, so they’ll have just 10 games left, including a three-game set with the Red Sox, and then what could be a highly competitive series with the Marlins, who remain in the NL playoff hunt. Of course, there’s also the aforementioned four more games with the Blue Jays as well, as they hadn’t played against each other prior to this month.
With just a 0.5 game lead, there’s also the possibility that the Blue Jays could lose their grip on 2nd place during their visit to Yankee stadium, so this series is very important. They could be playing against a healthier and more dangerous lineup by the end of the month, so here’s hoping the Blue Jays can take advantage of the opportunity this week.